Rick Santorum on Tuesday announced he was suspending his presidential campaign, effectively paving the way for Mitt Romney to claim the Republican nomination.
"We will suspend our campaign effective today, but we are not done fighting," Santourm said, speaking to reporters in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania moments ago.
Santorum said he and his family had done a lot of thinking over the weekend while his daughter Bella, who was born with a genetic condition, was in the hospital. She was subsequently released.
Beyond family concerns, the move is an acknowledgement of the reality that Mitt Romney has an insurmountable lead in the race for delegates, and by exiting now he avoids the potential embarrassment of losing his home state of Pennsylvania, which votes on April 24.
Though Santorum came up short in his quest for the GOP nomination, his run shouldn't be seen as a failure. Going into the race, Santorum was largely seen as a has-been, remembered most for being a controversial figure from an earlier era who got blown out in his Senatorial reelection bid.
Nobody gave him a chance to do much of anything, given that rival candidates had more money and more sophisticated organizations. But he ran a tough, grassroots campaign, building off of a surprise victory surge in Iowa to drag out the race a lot longer than anybody thought he could, eventually winning in 11 states. Now he'll come out of the race with a much higher profile when he started and with an image as a tenacious campaigner.